A proper workout will require every body part to be properly worked on, and that’s what this article is here to help you with, how to manage, divide and conquer your workout routines to get the best results.
Firstly, what’s a workout split?
For many of you who don’t know what a workout split or better yet known as a Split system training is, it’s a program of weight training that divides training sessions by body regions—usually upper- and lower-body workout. The split system divides training into each of these regions. For example focusing on the legs and butt in one session and arms, back, and chest in another session is more common.
Split system training is mostly used by bodybuilders or fitness trainers; professional powerlifters and Olympic lifters do not use this approach.
You could decide to divided your split sessions into days, four days, or maybe seven days’ split
We’re rather going to focus on a five-day split
Let’s get into some types of splits
Presented below are five common splits Training, starting with the easiest and progressing to the most advanced. Like I said before, there are many other options, but these five is no doubt a great place to start. While beginners should start with the first option, other lifters should consider the five factors listed below when choosing which split to follow.
You'll discover that, as you gain experience and become a more advanced lifter, you'll use more exercises, intensity, or volume for each body part. Greater volume and intensity require more days to recover from. Hence, advanced lifters may train a given muscle group only once per week.
Let's take a look at some of the most common training splits, and the specific advantages and disadvantages of each.
1. Whole-Body Split
This is a split where you use or train every major part of your body at the same time that is, every major muscle group is worked out in a single workout session.
This is usually very common in beginners, who are maybe unsure of which muscle to work out so they go for all of them, or people looking to get their entire body in shape
Its mostly characterized by a single exercise per body part for just a few sets.
One of the primary reasons the volume is kept intentionally low per muscle group is that the primary adaptations made by beginners come via the nervous system. It’ll help to make your body learn to activate and utilize more muscle fibers, rather than realizing physical gains in fiber size and strength. This requires greater frequency, and since the volume of work is so low, It’s best when this workout is repeated no less than three times per week, with 48 hours between workouts.
Be forewarned, though, that you don't want to let a week go by in between workouts like this. If you wait too long, you won't build upon your previous workouts, which can place you back at square one.
Another really important reason why the volume and the intensity of the workout are kept low for the newbie is to minimize next-day muscle soreness. Muscle soreness can be very discouraging for a beginner. If you do all legs in a training session, a beginner may feel severe soreness in that muscle group for up to a week, which may discourage that person from coming back."
- Day One: All muscle groups - 1 exercise, 3 sets, 10-12 reps
- Day Two: Rest
- Day Three: All muscle groups - 1 exercise, 3 sets, 10-12 reps
- Day Four: Rest
- Day Five: All muscle groups - 1 exercise, 3 sets, 10-12 reps
- Days Six-Seven: Rest
2. Upper- And Lower-Body Split
The volume of work (number of sets and reps) done on each body part is low when following a whole-body split;
In this split. The entire body may be covered over a two day period. And perform two exercises per muscle group This is typically done by separating the body into upper-body muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, arms) and lower-body muscle groups (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs).
By increasing the volume of work done on each body part, you can hit a particular area from more than one angle while increasing the intensity of your training. In our sample workout, you'd do 6 sets—3 sets of 2 exercises—for each muscle group.
You can train in two different rep ranges; the first is geared more toward strength (choose a weight in which you fail at 6-8 reps), and the second is on the upper end of the hypertrophy scale (a weight you can lift for 10-12 reps).
Because you're doing a bit more volume for each body part, you'll need more rest days before repeating the same workout again.
- Day One: Upper-body muscle groups - 2 exercises each, 3 sets, 6-8 and 10-12 reps
- Day Two: Lower-body muscle groups - 2 exercises each, 3 sets, 6-8 and 10-12 reps
- Day Three: Rest
- Day Four: Upper-body muscle groups - 2 exercises each, 3 sets, 6-8 and 10-12 reps
- Day Five: Lower-body muscle groups - 2 exercises each, 3 sets, 6-8 and 10-12 reps
- Days Six-Seven: Rest
If you’ve gained more experience, then you can do more volume for each muscle group, enabling you to train the entire body over the course of three days, not two
Although any pair of muscles can be grouped, one can pair muscle groups in many ways, one of the most popular is often to do all the pushing muscles together (chest, shoulders, and triceps), all of the pulling muscles together (back and biceps), and then leg exercises. Abs can actually be done on any of these days.
The primary reason to link pushing muscles is that, with multi-joint exercises, many more body parts are already being called into play. For example, when bench pressing, the pecs, delts, and triceps go together, So, when training pecs, you might need to finish off the shoulders and triceps. Or the alternative, doing chest on Mondays, shoulders on Tuesdays, and then triceps on Wednesdays, but this will in no way allow enough time for recovery since some of the muscles would be called into play on consecutive days.
You can also do this workout twice over the course of the week (six workouts a week, as shown), or do it once (the first workout on Monday, the second on Wednesday, and the third on Friday).
Note, always add a rest day, even when doing it twice, you might also want to make an extra rest day every fourth day (three days on, one day off), so that you're technically doing the three-day split twice over the course of eight days, not seven. Of course, but all that would depend on your schedule and need for rest.
- Day One: Chest, shoulders, triceps - 3 exercises each; 3 sets; 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12 reps
- Day Two: Back, biceps - 3 exercises each; 3 sets; 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12 reps
- Day Three: Legs - 4 exercise; 3 sets; 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12 reps
- Day Four : Chest, shoulders, triceps - 3 exercises each; 3 sets; 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12
- Day Five: Back, biceps - 3 exercises each; 3 sets; 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12 reps
- Day Six: Legs - 4 exercise; 3 sets; 6-8, 8-10 and 10-12
Day Seven: Rest
4. Four-Day Split
Here's a split that shows you're getting serious. With fewer muscle groups trained per day, you're able to increase the volume and intensity of your training, factors all-important to continued progress.
Most often, The four-day split is done over the course of a week (meaning you get three days of rest), but it can alternately be done following a four-on/one-off or four-on/two-off progression.
Grouping body parts here is great when you pair a large muscle group with a smaller one that is chest and triceps (again, both pushing muscles). Because the triceps are already working during many of your chest exercises, you simply hit them afterward. The same reasoning goes with back and biceps.
You could also decide to pair some muscle groups that target opposing actions, such as chest with biceps and back with triceps. In this case, just make sure you insert a rest day or leg day between those workouts so you're not training a particular muscle group on consecutive days (i.e., doing back and triceps on Monday and chest and biceps on Tuesday). That would be too much strait on one muscle.
When you pair a larger and smaller body part such as chest and triceps, train the larger muscle group first because the smaller the muscle, the faster it will fatigue, making it harder to train the larger muscle afterward with a substantially heavyweight. With this in mind, you couldn't train the triceps before the chest, because the triceps assist the chest in pressing actions. If your triceps are highly fatigued by the time you get to your chest exercises, your ability to push heavyweights will be severely limited.
- Day One: Back, biceps - 4, 3 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Two: Chest, triceps - 4, 3 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Three: Rest
- Day Four: Legs - 5 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Five: Shoulders - 4 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
Days Six-Seven: Rest
5. Five-Day Split
In this advanced five-day split system, each body part is allowed it’s own training day, enabling you to increase volume and intensity to maximum levels. Each muscle group is trained when it's rested, so there's no pre-fatigue to limit your volume and intensity.
With this type of split, it’s faster because you can decide to hit a particular muscle hard and be out of the gym in an hour or so. In addition, rest days are reserved for the weekend, though you can shift rest days anywhere during the split depending on your schedule.
- Day One: Chest - 4-5 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Two: Back - 5 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Three: Shoulders, upper traps - 4-5 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Four: Legs - 5-6 exercises, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Day Five: Biceps, triceps - 3-4 exercises each, 3-4 sets, 6-15 reps
- Days Six-Seven: Rest
Note: The smaller muscles recovery very quickly and can be done every other day.